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Bhagwan Mahajan

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14 Amazing Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds!

By Dr Prachi Garg +2 more

Pumpkin seeds are edible seeds of pumpkin fruit. These flat and white seeds are a ‘Powerhouse of Nutrition’. They are somewhat oval in shape and after removing the outer white cover, light greenish seeds are obtained.

They are sweet and nutty in taste. They are popularly known as ‘Pepitas’ in America.

Nutritional Value of Pumpkin Seeds

  • Pumpkin seeds nutrition is quite impressive as they are laden with nutrients, calories, fats, proteins, and fibre. Calories in pumpkin seeds can vary, but they typically provide 574 calories of energy per 100 grams, 49 grams of fat, 6.6 grams of fiber, and 30 grams of protein. Pumpkin seeds protein content makes them a valuable addition to a healthy diet.
  • Fats present are mostly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats which are good for health.
  • Vitamins like vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin B9, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K are present in pumpkin seeds in different quantities.
  • Pumpkin seeds also contain minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc etc.

Did you know that seeds are little powerhouses of zinc? In just one serving of seeds, you can find approximately 6.6 mg of zinc, which is almost half of the recommended daily intake. Zinc might also play a crucial role in helping the metabolic process. This process involves how your body uses and converts food into energy to keep you going!

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Did You Know?

  • Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of protein, with approximately 9.75g of protein per 32.25g serving. source: NCBI
  • Pumpkin seeds are rich in antioxidants, including carotenoids and tocopherols, which help protect against oxidative stress. source:NCBI
  • Pumpkin seeds have been found to improve spermatogenesis, potentially benefiting male reproductive health. source: NCBI
  • Pumpkin seeds have been shown to have wound healing properties, promoting the healing of skin wounds. source: NCBI

Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds:

Benefits of eating pumpkin seeds are many, let’s check them out

1. Powerful Antioxidant

Pumpkin seeds have great antioxidant potential due to the presence of Vitamin E and carotenoids.

These antioxidants help in reducing inflammation and also protect our body from damage caused by free radicals. Thus, they provide us with protection from innumerable diseases.

2. Cardio-protective

Pumpkin seeds are very good for the health of our heart. Antioxidants in them protect our heart from various disorders.

Magnesium in pumpkin seeds helps to lower our blood pressure. Magnesium also lowers bad cholesterol (LDL ) levels and triglycerides.  This reduces the risk of heart diseases.

Fibre present in pumpkin seeds also reduces cholesterol levels, thus protecting our heart.

3. Protects from Cancers

Consuming pumpkin seeds in good amount reduces the risk of gastric, breast, and colorectal cancers.  This is due to the presence of powerful antioxidants in these seeds. Carotenoids in pumpkin seeds, benefits in preventing prostate cancer.

Also Read: 10 Best for Diabetes Supported by Research

4. Helps in Management of Diabetes

Pumpkin seeds are rich in magnesium. Magnesium helps to lower blood sugar levels which is beneficial for people with diabetes mellitus. What is diabetes mellitus? Diabetes mellitus, commonly known as diabetes, refers to a group of metabolic disorders that affects how our body uses blood sugar or glucose. Since pumpkin seeds prove to be useful in the management of diabetes, they can be included in your Diabetes Diet Plan.

5. Immunity Booster

Pumpkin seeds are good for our immune system due to the presence of vitamin E and zinc.

Vitamin E enhances immune responses and protects against several infectious diseases.  It is also a powerful antioxidant and prevents free radicals from damaging healthy cells in our body.

Zinc protects our body from inflammation, allergies and invading pathogens, thus preventing infections and increasing overall immunity.

Pumpkin seeds exhibit antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral properties.

Also Read: 7 Simple Ways to Boost Immunity

6. Improves Quality of Sleep

Amino acid tryptophan present in pumpkin seeds is good for sleep. It is a precursor to serotonin and melatonin. Both serotonin and melatonin help to induce sleep.

Read More: 6 Health Benefits of Sleep for Mind & Body

7. Good for Weight Loss

Pumpkin seeds benefits for weight loss are quite impressive as they are rich in proteins and fibre. They make us feel full for a long time, reduce our food intake and finally reduce the number of calories consumed. This helps in reduction of weight.

8. Good for Strong Bones

Pumpkin seeds are rich in Magnesium. Magnesium is good for growth and strength of bones.   It has been observed that people with ample amounts of Magnesium in their diet tend to have a higher density of minerals in their bones. This helps to avoid risks like bone fractures and osteoporosis. Low levels of magnesium have also been linked to increased inflammation. Another side effect of Magnesium deficiency is that Calcium levels in the blood also get low. Every 100 grams of pumpkin seeds contains up to 262 mg of Magnesium. This amount is enough to cover 65% of your daily Magnesium requirement!  

It also helps to prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.

Also Read: How to Keep Bones & Joints Healthy?

9. Good for Prostate Health

Consumption of pumpkin seeds improves the symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia ( BPH ). Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc. Zinc reduces the chances of prostate cancer. There is also limited data that suggests Pumpkin Seed oil may help to treat and prevent urinary diseases/disorders. This benefit needs to be studied further, however, and it was not tested using the seeds but the oil extracted from it.  

10. Improves the Quality of Sperm

Pumpkin seeds are rich in zinc. Zinc improves fertility in men. It increases the levels of testosterone and also the quality and quantity of sperms.

11. Good for Pregnancy

The pumpkin seeds can benefit during pregnancy as it contains a good amount of zinc. Zinc boosts immunity and helps in healthy growth of the baby. It is beneficial to consume zinc-rich foods in pregnancy.

12. Reduces Depression and Anxiety

Magnesium in pumpkin seeds helps to reduce stress and anxiety. It also calms our mind.

Also Read: 15 Ways to Naturally Treat Depression

13. Good for our Hair

Pumpkin seeds benefits for hair may include promoting healthy, strong strands with their rich nutrients. Consuming it makes our hair strong and It also makes our hair silky and shiny.

14. Good for our Skin

Pumpkin seeds benefits for skin are noticeable. As it make our skin soft and wrinkle-free. It also prevents infections and keeps our skin acne-free.

Read More: 10 Foods Good For Skin

Did you know that raw pumpkin seeds are a fantastic source of plant-based omega-3 fats? These healthy fats might help in lowering levels of blood triglycerides, which are fats in the blood that can contribute to heart disease.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Also Read: Pumpkin Leaves: Unfolding the Forgotten Nutritional Benefits

Other Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds 

1. Pumpkin seeds benefits for male 

Pumpkin seeds health benefits for men are many. These tiny powerhouses are packed with essential nutrients, including zinc, which is crucial for male reproductive health. Zinc promotes healthy sperm production and may help improve fertility. Additionally, pumpkin seeds contain antioxidants that can support prostate health and reduce the risk of prostate-related issues. Their high magnesium content may also contribute to improved heart health and better sleep, which is essential for overall well-being. Incorporating pumpkin seeds into the diet can be a delicious and nutritious way for men to maintain and enhance their health.

2. Pumpkin seeds benefits for female 

Pumpkin seeds health benefits for women are diverse as they are a rich source of essential nutrients, including magnesium, which plays a vital role in muscle and nerve function. Magnesium can help alleviate common issues such as menstrual cramps and PMS symptoms. Additionally, pumpkin seeds contain antioxidants like vitamin E and beta-carotene, which support skin health and may help reduce the signs of aging. Their high fiber content contributes to digestive health and can aid in managing weight, a concern for many women. Incorporating pumpkin seeds into the diet can be a tasty and nutritious way for women to maintain and enhance their overall well-being.

3. Pumpkin seeds benefits for babies

Pumpkin seeds offer several potential benefits for babies when introduced into their diets. These seeds are a good source of essential nutrients like protein, healthy fats, and vitamins, including vitamin K, which is crucial for blood clotting and bone health. The seeds also contain minerals like iron and zinc, which support proper growth and development in infants.

How to Cook Pumpkin Seeds 

Cooking pumpkin seeds is a simple and delicious way to make the most of this nutritious snack. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to cook pumpkin seeds:

  • Harvesting the Seeds: Start by removing the seeds from a fresh pumpkin. Cut a hole in the pumpkin, scoop out the seeds and pulp, and place them in a bowl.
  • Cleaning and Separating: Rinse the seeds under cold water to remove any remaining pulp. Use your fingers or a strainer to separate the seeds from the pulp.
  • Boiling: In a saucepan, add the seeds and enough water to cover them. Add a pinch of salt, and bring the water to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes. This step softens the seeds and enhances their texture.
  • Seasoning: Drain the seeds and transfer them to a bowl. Add your choice of seasonings. Common options include olive oil, salt, and spices like paprika, garlic powder, or cayenne pepper. Toss the seeds to ensure even coating.
  • Roasting: Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C). Spread the seasoned seeds on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast them for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they turn golden brown and crispy.
  • Cooling: Allow the roasted seeds to cool before enjoying. They can be stored in an airtight container for a crunchy, nutritious snack.

Also Read: Benefits of Prickly Pear Cactus: Delving into Research-Backed Health Benefits 

Side Effects of Consuming Pumpkin Seeds

  1. Eating pumpkin seeds in excess can cause stomach ache, flatulence, bloating and constipation.
  2. The major disadvantage of pumpkin seeds is that, since they are loaded with calories, eating them in excess can lead to weight gain.
  3. Pumpkin seeds help to lower blood sugar levels. These seeds should be consumed in moderation by diabetics on medication and also people suffering from hypoglycemia. Read more about different types of blood sugar levels

If you’re looking to meet your protein needs while following a vegetarian diet, pumpkin-seed protein might be a valuable addition to your meals. Pumpkin-seed protein could be an excellent source of high-quality protein. It contains all the essential amino acids you need, making it a fantastic alternative to meat-based protein sources.

Dr. Smita barode, B.A.M.S, M.S.

Pepitas vs Pumpkin seeds 


  • Definition: Pepitas specifically refer to the hulled seeds of pumpkins, often recognized for their small, green appearance.
  • Appearance: Typically small, green, and seed-only, lacking a protective husk.
  • Flavor Profile: Known for its nutty and delicate taste, popular in Mexican cuisine, salads, and as toppings.
  • Culinary Uses: Versatile in various dishes and snacks due to their distinct flavor and texture.
  • Nutritional Composition: A nutritional powerhouse rich in magnesium, zinc, protein, and healthy fats, contributing to heart health and overall well-being.
  • Availability: Typically found in specialty stores or Mexican markets.

Pumpkin Seeds:

  • Definition: Encompass both hulled and unhulled seeds from pumpkins, presenting a broader range in size and color.
  • Appearance: Varied in size and color, may include seeds with or without protective hull.
  • Flavor Profile: Exhibit a diverse flavor spectrum influenced by hull presence, suitable for both sweet and savory dishes.
  • Culinary Uses: Widely used in diverse dishes, offering a versatile option for both culinary and snacking purposes.
  • Nutritional Composition: Similar to pepitas, rich in magnesium, zinc, protein, and healthy fats, contributing to heart health and providing essential nutrients.
  • Availability: Widely accessible in supermarkets, health food stores, and online platforms.

Can You Experience an Allergic Reaction To Pumpkin Seeds?

Pumpkin seeds are not thought to be highly allergenic, but in rare cases, you may experience an allergy. People allergic to pumpkin seeds may show symptoms like headaches, itching, rashes, difficulty in breathing etc. If you are worried about having an allergy to Pumpkin seeds, speak with your doctor first before trying it out, especially if you have never eaten them before.

Did you know that pumpkin seed oil might have some powerful antimicrobial properties? It contains components that may fight against bacteria, parasites, viruses, and fungi that might cause various diseases. In fact, studies have shown that pumpkin seed oil, even at a concentration as low as 2%, might inhibit the growth of harmful microorganisms like Candida albicans, Escherichia coli and others.

Dr. Anuja Bodhare, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Also Read: 8 Health Benefits of Flax Seeds

How to Consume Pumpkin Seeds?

Best way to use Pumpkin seeds is to roast them and have them as a snack.

We also get pumpkin seeds oil and pumpkin seed butter in the market.  

These seeds can also be added to or sprinkled on:

  • Smoothies
  • Yoghurt
  • Fruit
  • Salads
  • Soups
  • Cereals
  • Bread
  • Cakes
  • Energy bars
  • Stir-fries etc

Did you know that pumpkin seeds and seed extract might be a natural remedy for deworming and managing parasitic infections in both humans and animals? Several studies have shown that they could be efficient in lowering the number of parasitic worms as well as their eggs.

Dr. Ashok Pal, BAMS

Also Read: Health Benefits & Uses of Sabja Seeds

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Are pumpkin seeds good for you?

Pumpkin seeds are a nutritious snack, rich in protein, healthy fats, and various essential nutrients. They offer potential health benefits, such as supporting heart health. However, it’s essential to consider individual dietary needs and portion control.

What are pumpkin seeds good for?

Pumpkin seeds are beneficial for your health as they are rich in essential nutrients like protein, fiber, and healthy fats. They may support heart health, aid digestion, and provide essential minerals like magnesium and zinc.

Can dogs eat raw pumpkin seeds?

It’s generally not recommended to feed dogs raw pumpkin seeds. Raw seeds can be harder to digest and may pose a risk of intestinal discomfort. It’s safer to offer plain, roasted pumpkin seeds in moderation after consulting with a veterinarian.

Can chicken eat pumpkin seeds?

Yes, chickens can safely eat pumpkin seeds. They are a nutritious addition to their diet, providing essential nutrients and serving as a healthy treat. Just ensure the seeds are plain and not salted or seasoned.

Can you eat raw pumpkin seeds?

It’s generally safe for cats to eat plain, raw pumpkin seeds in small amounts as an occasional treat. However, it’s essential to consult with a veterinarian for guidance, as individual cat sensitivities and dietary considerations may vary.

Can pumpkin seeds be eaten during pregnancy?

Pumpkin seeds can be a healthy snack during pregnancy as they are a good source of essential nutrients like folate, iron, and magnesium. However, it’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional or a prenatal specialist to ensure they align with your specific dietary needs and to confirm any allergies or sensitivities.

Can pumpkin seeds cause constipation?

Pumpkin seeds are generally high in fiber, which can actually help prevent constipation in some individuals. However, if you have an underlying digestive condition or consume them in excessive amounts, they may potentially contribute to constipation. It’s advisable to discuss any concerns with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance.

Can pumpkin seeds be taken with milk?

Consuming pumpkin seeds with milk is a nutritious choice as it combines the benefits of both foods. Pumpkin seeds provide essential nutrients, while milk offers calcium and protein. However, if you have specific dietary concerns or allergies, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

Can pumpkin seeds cause acne?

Pumpkin seeds are generally not known to cause acne. In fact, they contain zinc, which may help in controlling acne breakouts for some individuals. However, the relationship between diet and acne varies from person to person, and it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance on managing acne.

Can pumpkin seeds block DHT?

Pumpkin seeds contain phytosterols, including beta-sitosterol, which some studies suggest may help lower DHT (dihydrotestosterone) levels. DHT is associated with hair loss and prostate issues. However, the effect of pumpkin seeds on DHT levels is not fully established, and it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional for comprehensive advice on specific health concerns.

Can pumpkin seeds increase testosterone?

Pumpkin seeds contain various nutrients like zinc that are linked to supporting healthy testosterone levels. While they may have a positive impact, the effect is generally modest. Consulting with a healthcare professional is advised for a comprehensive approach to testosterone management and overall health.

Can pumpkin seeds be eaten on empty stomach?

Yes, pumpkin seeds can be eaten on an empty stomach. They are a nutritious and easily digestible snack that can provide essential nutrients. However, individual digestive sensitivities may vary, so it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional if you have specific concerns or dietary restrictions.

Can pumpkin seed be eaten in fast?

Yes, pumpkin seeds can be consumed during fasting periods. They are a healthy option that can provide essential nutrients without breaking your fast, making them a suitable choice for intermittent fasting or other fasting practices. If you have specific dietary restrictions or concerns, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance.

Does pumpkin seeds helps in weight loss?

Pumpkin seeds can support weight loss as they are rich in protein and fiber, which can promote feelings of fullness and curb overeating. However, weight loss depends on overall diet and lifestyle factors. It’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian for personalized guidance on incorporating pumpkin seeds into a weight loss plan.

Does pumpkin seeds increase weight?

Pumpkin seeds, when consumed in moderation, are not likely to increase weight. They are nutrient-dense and can be part of a healthy diet. However, excessive consumption of any food, including pumpkin seeds, can contribute to weight gain. Consulting with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian for personalized dietary advice is recommended.

Does roasting pumpkin seeds destroy nutrients?

Roasting pumpkin seeds can lead to some nutrient loss, particularly with sensitive vitamins like vitamin C. However, the impact on overall nutrient content is relatively modest, and roasted pumpkin seeds remain a healthy snack option.

Does pumpkin seeds cause acidity?

Pumpkin seeds are not typically associated with causing acidity. In fact, they are often considered a heartburn-friendly food due to their alkaline nature. However, individual reactions to foods can vary, so it’s advisable to monitor your own tolerance and consult with a healthcare professional if you have specific concerns regarding acidity.

Can you eat pumpkin seeds shells?

Eating pumpkin seeds with their shells is safe and provides extra dietary fiber. However, it’s essential to chew them thoroughly, as the shells can be tough and might be challenging for some individuals to digest. Consulting with a healthcare professional can offer personalized guidance based on individual dietary needs and preferences.

Are pepitas pumpkin seeds?

Yes, pepitas are a type of pumpkin seed. They are hulled pumpkin seeds, which means the outer white shell has been removed, leaving the green seed. Pepitas are often smaller, tender, and easier to snack on than whole pumpkin seeds, and they’re used in various culinary dishes and as a nutritious snack.

Are pumpkin seeds high in potassium?

Certainly! Pumpkin seeds are rich in potassium, offering a healthy dose of this essential mineral, which plays a crucial role in maintaining proper bodily functions.

Are pumpkin seeds good for hair?

Certainly! Pumpkin seeds are beneficial for hair health as they contain essential nutrients like zinc, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids that can promote hair growth and maintain its overall strength and shine.

Are pumpkin seeds heaty?

Pumpkin seeds are considered “heaty” in traditional Chinese medicine, which means they can generate warmth in the body. This quality may make them a good choice during colder seasons or for individuals seeking foods with warming properties.

Are pumpkin seeds good for diabetics?

Pumpkin seeds can be a beneficial addition to a diabetic diet when consumed in moderation. They are low in carbohydrates and rich in fiber, which can help stabilize blood sugar levels and provide essential nutrients for overall health. It’s important for individuals with diabetes to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized dietary guidance.

Does pumpkin seeds increase cholesterol?

Pumpkin seeds are a heart-healthy snack that may help lower cholesterol levels. Rich in phytosterols, fiber, and antioxidants, they can contribute to overall cardiovascular health when incorporated into a balanced diet.

Is pumpkin seeds good for uric acid?

Absolutely, pumpkin seeds can be beneficial for individuals with high uric acid levels. With low purine content and anti-inflammatory properties, they may contribute to managing uric acid levels and supporting overall joint health.

Can you eat pumpkin seeds everyday?

Absolutely, incorporating pumpkin seeds into your daily diet is generally beneficial. They provide essential nutrients like magnesium, zinc, and healthy fats, promoting overall health when consumed in moderation.however it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional before consuming it in excess.

What is the best time to eat pumpkin seeds?

Optimal times to eat pumpkin seeds are during the day as a snack or added to meals for nutritional benefits. A moderate daily intake, around a small handful (1-2 ounces), can contribute essential nutrients like magnesium; however, it’s crucial not to exceed recommended portions for a balanced diet.

How long to bake pumpkin seeds?

To bake pumpkin seeds, preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C), spread the cleaned and dried seeds on a baking sheet, drizzle with a bit of oil and your preferred seasonings, and bake for about 20-30 minutes until they turn golden brown and are crisp. The exact baking time can vary based on your oven and personal preference, so it’s advisable to check them periodically and adjust accordingly.

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